It's about Podcast today.
I recommended in the ebook to listen to some podcast programs to improve listening ability. You've got to understand the feel of relaxing, effortless listening, which is a totally different kind of listening attitude that you learn at school in Japan. I'm positive by now that commonly practiced listening exercises in Japanese English classes are only harmful, especially for young people, and they only deprive keen, sensitive, and rapidly developing listening ability to understand naturally spoken English of many young learners.
The listening material most of the teachers use at Japanese school is excessively clear mostly without any noise or mumblings and pronounced quite slowly. Thus, students can dictate every single word used in the audio if they listen to the same story again and again. Soon, they might begin to feel that their listening ability is getting better when they see the complete sentences they were able to write down on a piece of paper. But what happens if they keep doing this kind of controlled training for a long time? I'm afraid there is a big hidden pitfall here; the more you get familiar with controlled voice, the less likely you feel comfortable with the natural conversation you hear in real life.
This is why I strongly recommend learners of English, even for a beginners, to listen to the real sound of English as much as possible.
It's Slate Culture gabfest which I enjoyed while I was walking leisurely as a daily exercise in the neighborhood today. I've been missing a chance to listen to the programs for some time, so it's an old July program I enjoyed, and lo and behold, again I ran into a Japanese word! If you're curious to know what word I heard, please go somewhere around 5:10,and there you'll hear a Japanese word starting with a letter "K."
BTW, the speech itself is very very fast and just like a daily conversation we exchange among friends, so I'm afraid it may be very difficult even to grasp the main idea of what they're talking about, but anyway if you like, try to see if the woman feeling positive or negative about the thing she's watched. Neither do I understand details much, but I'm sure if you keep dipping yourself in this kind of rapid, seamless casual English talk, then you wouldn't be intimidated at all with the speech you hear in TOEIC or in other English tests.